Q: There is a common saying in Tamil that means, “The family that always donates gets ruined, the family that always receives also gets ruined” – both the giver and the taker!
Sadhguru: Essentially, what they are referring to is either always receiving and living on aid, or indiscriminately giving because of your idea of goodness, not because of what the situation needs. If you are giving because you feel that by giving you are being good or that you will buy a ticket to heaven, it is definitely not okay. But when you see a need, if you are unwilling to give whatever you could give, you are not human at all.
So giving is not the problem. The problem arises when you give not because the situation needs it, but for your own satisfaction. This is happening because human beings are seeking their happiness and peace in so many weird ways. They believe that if they give today, they will get peace somewhere else. No, peace and joy happen only within you.
If your humanity is on, you will give where you feel it is needed. I would not even call it giving – sharing is very natural for a human being. One’s joy multiplies in anything only by sharing. If something good happens to you, you naturally want to share because a human being is such a social being.
Don’t Teach Morality, Stir up Humanity
Unfortunately, we have always tried to teach goodness to people, not human sense. Instead of stirring up the humanity in the human heart, we are always trying to teach morals of goodness. Whether you give because you think you will go to heaven or you give because it will give you fulfillment or satisfaction, this is still a transaction. It is just business.
If you give a bowl of food to a beggar just so you can have some peace of mind, that is a really unfair exchange. Peace is worth much more than a bowl of leftover food. One who has lost his peace knows the value of what it means – he cannot sit, stand or sleep when that happens to him. If you can buy it with a bowl of food to a beggar or a little bit to somebody else, I think it is an unfair exchange.
Give and take has essentially been brought into human life as a substitute for humanity. By “humanity”, I mean humanness – humanity as a quality. When you put your humanity to sleep, you need to be reminded, “Please give two times a day, take four times a day.” That is the only proportion people will agree to! If you say “Give four times a day and take two times a day,” nobody will agree.
In Tune with the Life Process
If you understand the process of life, there is really no give and take. Life is so interconnected. If you inhale and exhale, a transaction is happening between you and the plant life around you. This is not a choice. This is the way the life process happens. If you are in tune with this constant transaction of giving and receiving – or simply sharing – in your life, you will be in tune with the life process. Otherwise you will create resistance against the life process by having ideas which are different from the way life happens, and slowly you will suffer.
If you look at most people in this world, they do not look like springtime. They look like they are in the depths of winter. Their hearts have become frosty simply because they are not in tune with life around them. For every other creature on this planet, nature has fixed seasons. A tree flowers in a certain season. An animal mates in a certain season. For human beings, nature left you free – no seasons.
Nature trusted your intelligence and awareness that, if given a choice, you will naturally choose to be in the best possible way every day of the year. Nature believed that you will be springtime 365 days, but people have chosen to be winter for all the 365 days. Off and on, springtime flashes once in a way. They smile only when they are tickled.
These ideas of giving and taking have essentially come because we have lost our life sense. If we have some life sense, we understand that life is a constant transaction. No one can live in exclusiveness. There is something beyond, which is absolute. But life as you know today in terms of body, mind and emotion and world around you is a constant transaction, nobody can avoid it.
If you avoid it, life will extract such a terrible price from you that there will be no spring on your face and heart. It is like living just above the grave. 90% of the human beings are living just above the grave in their moods and attitudes. If you are like springtime within yourself, you will be joyful and exuberant. No one will have to tell you when to give, when to take. You will know what to do with life.
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